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Global Eagle Entertainment has ended its Chapter 11 reorganization

ByAmanda Holden

Jan 9, 2021

Global Eagle Entertainment, a supplier of the satellite Wi-Fi and media facilities to planes, vessels, and remote areas, has arisen from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. About a half-dozen of the satellite connectivity provider’s shareholders seized the firm’s ownership on March 23, wiping out around $488 million in loans. The company’s balance sheet has now been improved due to the new shareholders’ $218 million acquisition.

When the Los Angeles-based corporation applied for bankruptcy proceedings in 2020 July, it posted a debt of about $1.1 billion. Since the pandemic drastically decreased airline as well as cruise ship operation, it went bankrupt. Global Eagle’s lower debt burden positions the organization to profit from recovering economies, as vaccine deployments are expected to relax COVID-19-related travel constraints shortly.

The group has also transferred its nongovernmental organization (NGO) as well as the African fixed-site land sector to Marlink. This maritime networking service has been trying to diversify its activities as part of a renewed emphasis on mobility markets following the transformation. Global Eagle Chief executive Joshua Marks stated, “Today represents the start of a thrilling new era for Global Eagle.”

“Having concluded our acquisition and turnaround plan and now concentrating exclusively on mobility, the Business now has a better balance sheet, improved capital, and new investors with blue-chip backing. “We are in a strong position to invest in creativity, expand our market, and serve our customers as they respond to changing passenger as well as guest needs.”

Eaton Vance Management, Apollo Global Management, Arbour Lane Capital Management, Sound Point Capital Management, Mudrick Capital Management, Carlyle Group, and some funds and portfolios managed by BlackRock Financial Management are among the lenders who have taken ownership of Global Eagle. Before declaring bankruptcy, Global Eagle was a publicly trading company on Nasdaq. The firm was delisted from the stock market in August.

Global Eagle is the second satellite communications firm to recover from Chapter 11 this month, following Speedcast’s departure on March 11 following a settlement that erased much of the company’s approximately $700 million debt.

Gogo, a rival to Global Eagle in the inflight communication (IFC) segment, sold its commercial aviation division last year to concentrate on corporate customers. These properties were sold for about $400 million to Intelsat, a satellite fleet provider that is now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Much before COVID-19 took its toll; the IFC market was in turmoil. Demand was hampered by the long-term suspension of Boeing 737 MAX jets, and experts say there are so many competitors in a sector with enormous antenna construction costs.